Many occupations and professions have national or state regulatory boards that help define and enforce adherence to a scope of practice. National or state boards develop and upgrade professional standards while also overseeing testing and licensing procedures for a scope of practice.
The scope of practice defines the rights and activities that are legally acceptable according to the licenses or certifications of a particular occupation or profession. The scope of practice for any licensed or certified occupation is defined in the legal description contained in the licensing regulation. The scope is determined in part by the educational focus of the professional training. A professional’s scope of practice is directly related to the skills he or she has gained and the training received.
Foot zoning is the complete application of pressure points on the feet corresponding to all organs, glands, structures, and systems of the body that support the body’s homeostasis. Many foot zone practitioners may be certified or licensed in other modalities and may choose to incorporate them into the foot zone because the foot zone works well with things such as massage, energy work, or emotional clearing. However, it is illegal for a foot zone practitioner to diagnose, prescribe or prognosticate but they can educate a client about the body.
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However, it is important for the practitioner to properly define the scope of practice of a foot zone session to the client. The professional can also explain the other modalities or tools he or she may incorporate into the foot zone, such as massage, energy work, emotional work, essential oils, creams, carrier oils or gems, which are not defined as part of the foot zone but can be synergistic to the foot zone.
If one is not certified or licensed in a modality or the state does not recognize a modality, the practitioner may be in violation of the law and their scope of practice. If one is interested in learning any modality, they need to be ethical and go through the proper educational channels of certification, licensing and adhering to the laws in their state and local city of practice. This helps maintain the integrity of holistic health fields and the practitioner.
One of the easiest ways to avoid a scope of practice dilemma is to communicate the scope of practice to your clients. It is not necessary to sit down and verbally explain the scope of practice to each client, but an overview on client intake forms that requires their signature is sufficient.
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The scope of practice is set in place to protect not only the professionals but also their clients. Performing treatments or giving advice outside of the scope of practice open professionals up to liabilities, lawsuits and even losing their licensing. While it may seem like a quick blurb or exercise, if it is outside of the scope of practice, then don’t do it!